In the world today, there are over 300 recognized types of sign language. That’s over 300 ways people can communicate with each other without using the spoken word although it might be easy to assume that there’s just one type, in fact, as unique as any spoken language. Sign language has developed over time and with it, entire cultures.
Did you know? Although the US and the UK both speak English, British, and American sign languages differ immensely. And that’s before we even get to Irish sign language which is derived from French sign language.
In recent years, the practice of baby signing has become popular in the mamas and papas community, and not just for those with hearing impairments. So, why the new trend and what are the benefits of signing for your baby? On the International Day of Sign Language, we’re here to tell you why you should consider giving it a go.
Top 5 baby signing benefits
1. You’ll both have fun
This is the number one benefit of any baby class – it should be fun. Imagine how boring it would be to sit around in a circle and simply sign at your baby until they ‘get it.’ That’s right – no fun at all.
Baby signing classes are filled with music, games, and entertainment that helps your child (and you) engage with the material and have fun too.
2. Levels of frustration will be reduced
We’ve all had that one day where we completely lost our voice and found it so frustrating to do anything at all; communication was a real chore. Now, imagine you’re a small baby, you know what you want but how do you get that across to mom and dad? You can’t use the words you don’t have yet, so your point, but when they miss it, you become frustrated and begin to cry –why don’t they understand you?
Baby signing allows infants to develop communication skills before they can talk that reduce frustration by having their needs met, and that means a calmer baby and a more relaxed mom and dad.
3. Your baby’s communication skills will be boosted
Ever been traveling in a foreign country and just can’t find the right word to express yourself and your needs? When you’re a baby, your vocabulary just isn’t there yet (if, at all) so this is a daily struggle for making yourself heard.
Signing allows your baby to communicate with simple words – toilet, milk, diaper – from as early as 6 months old and will enable you to sign back, so you can begin to find a common language.
4. It’s a great time to bond
We all struggle to find that free quality time where we can simply concentrate on our kids and let everything else go to the side. Spending a lesson at a baby signing class is a great way to let go of the outside world for a short period of time and try to engage with communicating with your little one.
As you learn together, you’ll build a bond using your shared knowledge and experience. You can even use what you’ve learned in classes to have a secret code at home.
5. Confidence levels will rise
By being able to communicate, even a little, your child will grow in confidence, safe in the knowledge that you understand them, and their needs will be met. So, just wait for that confident little one!
But, it’s not just good for baby. As Mamas and Papas, we often find ourselves lost in wondering “what does my baby want?!!!,” and this is only natural. Baby signing can help you discover what that little one is looking for, reduce your stress levels, and build your confidence as a happy, capable parent.